atans1

Did HDB, URA officials mislead MP?

In Public Administration on 17/02/2015 at 4:27 am

Let’s revisit shumething that was the talk of cyberspace only a few weeks ago: a commercial columbarium near a residential estate.

There is a seemingly major contradiction in what the PAP MP told us the authorities told him and what Khaw said in parliament on the issue of Eternal Pure Land winning a bid to build a temple  Dr Lam Pin Min said that the authorities (presumably URA and HDB) had assured him that commercial firms could bid for land earmarked for religious purposes*. That is why he defended the tender at the dialogue session.

This not what Khaw told us:The decision to award a site designated as Place of Worship to a company not affiliated to a religious organisation is a first for the Government, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in Parliament on Thursday (Jan 29). CNA

Khaw was careful to use the term “private company” and “for-profit company”**, not Dr Lam’s “commercial entity”. If Dr Lam had been an Oppo MP or NMP, the anti-PAP cyber warriors (like TOC and TRE) and their cyber-nut allies would be baying (and rightly so) for an explanation of what the HDB and URA officers told Dr Lam. But because Lam’s a PAP MP, it’s OK if public servants mad misrepresentations of fact to him?

And were they lying or making an “honest mistake”.

There doesn’t seem to be a difference between “commercial firm” and  “for-profit company”, so it would seem that the HDB and URA had assured Dr Lam that “for-profit companies” had been awarded tenders in the past.

All I can say is that  MP with his, “I was an honest broker”* (my words) and the residents deserve one another: both he and they are hypocrites.

I mean which honest broker will accuse residents of objecting to anything?

And then there is this.

At the session, Dr Lam was perceived to be defending Eternal Pure Land (EPL) – who were awarded the contentious tender – and the authorities rather than siding with his constituents. Some people pointed out that he was sitting at the same table as representatives from Life Corporation, the parent firm of EPL.

“My purpose there was first to facilitate the dialogue session, to clarify the misinformation of what was posted online, and to allow residents to raise their concerns to me and the relevant agencies,” he said. “Usually for a dialogue session, this is how it’s done.”

Well he could have taken the position of the Speaker in the UK parly, sitting between both sides. LOL

But whatever we may think of him, no public servant should misrepresent facts to anyone. Today an MP, tomorrow a Pioneer Generation Auntie.

*“I… asked HDB and URA whether a commercial entity is allowed to participate in a tender process for a place of worship, and I was informed that it had been done before,” he said.

**Mr Khaw said the Ministry of National Development is “in discussion” with Eternal Pure Land (EPL) to “ensure that the land is restored to the original plan of a Chinese temple”. He was responding to questions posed by MPs Seng Han Thong, Lee Li Lian and Lee Bee Wah.

“We now understand that the winning tenderer for this site, Eternal Pure Land, is actually a private company without any religious affiliation. From what we know, the plan of the company is to run a commercial columbarium on the site,” the minister said. “This is not in line with our plan for the Places of Worship site.”

He said the authorities never thought that a for-profit company would participate in a non-profit making venture, such as building a Chinese temple. Reports said EPL, which is owned by Australian company Life Corporation, had put in a S$5.2 million bid in July 2014.

 

  1. Bullshit that the PAPies are claiming never got for-profit companies winning tenders for supposedly not-for-profit operations. And double BS to claim ignorance or surprise that commercial companies will bid for supposedly not-for-profit tenders. PAPpy govt is also supposedly not-for-profit, yet the fees and duties it collects for doing simple admin and stamping will put any commercial company to shame. Of all people, PAPies should also know that not-for-profit does not mean low-cost or free — look at the salaries of senior mgmt. in NKF (even today) or ministerial salaries.

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